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Using the Mobil Refrigeration Lubricant Selection Guide for Industrial Systems
To help determine the appropriate refrigeration lubricant required for your system, use our Mobil-branded

Refrigeration Lubricant Selection Guide (available through your local representative or ExxonMobil Technical

Help Desk) and follow the steps below:

Technical Topic
Step 1. Obtain or confirm the following information on the application:

a. Refrigerant fluid in use

Refrigeration Lubricant Selection for Industrial Systems
b. Evaporator is of dry type (oil carryover is < 15%) and evaporator temperature

c. Compressor type and outlet temperature Industrial Refrigeration Systems: An Introduction

If the evaporator is confirmed to be of the flooded type (oil carryover to the evaporator is >15%), please Many of todays industrial refrigeration systems are
compression-type systems (as opposed to absorption-
contact your local representative or Technical Help Desk for assistance. If oil carryover to the evaporator
type systems) where cooling is generated based on
is <15%, please proceed to Step 2.
the evaporation of a refrigerant fluid such as Freon,
ammonia, or carbon dioxide (CO2). As illustrated below,
Step 2. Use the Mobil-branded Refrigeration Lubricant Selection Guide to identify potential Mobil-branded
the basic elements of these refrigeration units include the
refrigeration lubricant(s) for the application information confirmed in Step 1. If the product selector tool indicates
compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator.
both mineral and synthetic lubricants are acceptable for the application, synthetic lubricants will generally offer
The refrigerant fluid flows under pressure through the
a higher level of performance than mineral oils with respect to equipment protection, compressor efficiency, expansion valve to the evaporator, where it changes state
and oil life. from liquid to vapor in order to generate the cooling effect.

The cold refrigerant vapor, once at low pressure, is then
Step 3. If the equipment is under warranty, confirm that the Mobil-branded lubricant(s) indicated by the product compressed, raising its temperature and pressure. It then

selector are approved/accepted for use by the builder. flows through the condenser, where it cools down and
liquefies. The cooled refrigerant then flows again, under
high pressure, through the expansion valve for the next cycle.
Step 4. As refrigeration oils are sensitive to water contamination, procure oil in a package size that avoids

storage of half-used containers. Refrigeration Process Basics (compressor application)

Evaporator (oil return to
For a given application, the refrigerant fluid is selected
compressor) Gas High pressure
+ oil mist (oil carryover)
based on the following criteria:
Step 5. In changing refrigeration oil technology or brands, ensure thorough flushing of the system to
Refrigerant Miscibility Application requirements nature and amount
(gas + oil) Compressor into liquid at
minimize product contamination. (antiwear) high of cooling, evaporator temperature range, etc.
Miscibility into liquid
refrigerant at low Solubility
60C) Refrigerant thermodynamic characteristics
temperature of refrigerant
(ex: -30C) gas at high Safety considerations, such as flammability
temperature Condenser
Expansion and toxicity
Cost refrigerant and operational
Valve Liquid Refrigerant

Gas Refrigerant Regulatory compliance
Refrigerant Fluids
Refrigerant fluid technologies are generally referred to by their
For more information on all Mobil Industrial Lubricants and services, contact your local company ASHRAE classification (ANSI-ASHRAE Standard 34-2001): CFCs were banned under the Montreal Protocol (1989)
representative or visit R717 Ammonia
due to Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). HCFCs
R12 Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)
R22 Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) are in the process of being canceled due to their
2009 Exxon Mobil Corporation R600a Isobutane
ExxonMobil, Mobil, Mobil Gargoyle Arctic, Mobil EAL Arctic, Mobil SHC, Mobil Zerice, and the Pegasus design are registered trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one Global Warming Potential (GWP). Refer to the graph on
of its subsidiaries.
R744 Carbon dioxide (CO2)
R134a, R404a, R507 Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) the next page for refrigerant ODP and GWP ratings.

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Compatibility of Lubricant with Refrigerant Fluid Chart A Lubricant Technologies

Mobil EAL Arctic 46 and Refrigerant R-410a
Miscibility (important at the evaporator portion of the For each refrigerant type, the table below shows

refrigeration circuit): compatible lubricant technology choices and available

Generally large refrigerant systems, particularly those Mobil-branded refrigeration product lines.

using ammonia as a refrigerant, are equipped with oil

Refrigerant Lubricant Mobil-branded
separators. In these systems, it is desirable to use a Type Technology Products Line(s)

lubricant that is immiscible or has low miscibility with

CFC and HCFC Mineral Naphthenic Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
the refrigerant fluid. With systems not equipped with Mineral Paraffinic
Polyalphaolefin Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
oil-separation capability, the lubricant carried over from (PAO) SHC 200
the compressor into the evaporator must be sufficiently Alkylbenzene (AB) Mobil Zerice S
Ozone depletion potential (ODP) contrasted to global warming potential (GWP) for
key single-compound refrigerants. CFCs generally have high ODP and GWP. HCFCs
generally have much lower ODP and GWP. HFCs offer near-zero ODP, but some have miscible with the refrigerant at the evaporator temperature HFC Polyol Ester (POE) Mobil EAL Arctic
comparatively high GWPs.
Ammonia Mineral Naphthenic Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
so that the refrigerant fluidlubricant blend remains in
Selection of Refrigeration Lubricants Mineral Paraffinic
one phase after expansion in the evaporator and at a PAO/AB Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
From a technical standpoint, the lubricant selected for Viscosity/Pressure/ Temperature curves (VPT curves), SHC NH68
sufficiently low viscosity to travel through to the
a refrigeration system must shown in Chart B, are used for this purpose and are Carbon Dioxide PAO Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
compressor. If the lubricant separates in the evaporator (CO2) SHC 200
be suitable for lubricating the type of compressor specific to lubricant-refrigerant combinations. The
due to poor miscibility with the refrigerant fluid, or the Esters
used in the refrigeration system viscosity of the lubricant-refrigerant blend at the Polyalkylene Glycol
blend viscosity is high, fluid is likely to get trapped in (PAG)
have the appropriate miscibility and solubility temperature and pressure of the compressor outlet
the evaporator and adversely affect the systems cooling Hydrocarbon PAG
characteristics with the refrigerant fluid is read from the chart and validated against the Mineral Naphthenic Mobil Gargoyle Arctic
capacity and efficiency.
Refrigeration Compressor Lubrication builder-recommended optimum viscosity to lubricate

Miscibility curves are used to ensure that the lubricant the compressor. Mobil Industrial Lubricants Applications Expertise
Three types of compressors are predominantly used
selected matches miscibility requirements for the Copies of miscibility and VPT curves for Mobil-branded
in industrial refrigeration systems: Chart B
application. Miscibility charts are specific to lubricant- Mobil EAL Arctic 22 with R-134a refrigeration oils and various refrigerant fluids are
Reciprocating compressors the oil lubricates
refrigerant combinations and are read based on the available from our Technical Help Desk. A selection
cylinders, connecting rods, and journal and thrust
evaporator temperature and the percentage of oil carried guide is also available to help you and your sales
bearings; and maintains good sealing in compressing
over into the evaporator for the application in question. representative make the right choice of lubricants
the refrigerant
For typical industrial systems, oil carryover is 15% or less. for your particular applications.
Screw compressors the oil lubricates the screw(s)

(except in dry screw units), and sliding and thrust At the evaporator temperature and expected oil carryover Conclusion
bearings; maintains good sealing; and cools down percentage for the application, the lubricant-refrigerant The selection of a high-quality refrigeration lubricant is
compressed gas blend must remain in one phase. For example, as shown driven by the type of compressor, application parameters,
Centrifugal compressors the oil lubricates sliding, in Chart A, Mobil EAL Arctic 46 is suitable for use with and, most important, the refrigerant fluid. We offer a wide
antifriction, and thrust bearings as well as shaft packing refrigerant R-410a at evaporator temperatures between range of synthetic and mineral oilbased refrigeration oils
and multipliers gears; provides proper sealing; and in -40C and +57C at 15% expected oil carryover. that are equipment-builder approved, and suitable for a
many cases cools the compressor parts Solubility (important at the compressor portion of the broad range of industrial refrigeration applications.
refrigeration circuit): (continued on back page)
Scroll or rotary vane compressors are also used in
Another important consideration for proper lubricant
some refrigeration systems.
selection is to ensure that the viscosity of the lubricant, after

absorption of gaseous refrigerant at the high compressor

temperature, is sufficient for effective lubrication of

the compressor.

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Technical Topic (INSIDE)